The Lion King is a story of good versus evil where the antagonist, Scar, plans to kill his brother and nephew, Mufasa and Simba, so he can become king of the Pride Lands. King Mufasa gives his own life to save Simba, and Scar makes Simba feel guilty of his father’s death which makes him run away and Scar seizes the throne. Simba runs into the jungle and lives there until years later, his friends Nala and wise Rafiki find him and convince him of returning as Pride Land’s king. Simba and his friends return to confront the evil Scar and his army of hyenas for the right to rule. They win the battle and Simba finally claims his position as king of Pride Lands.
There are many positive messages we can get from The Lion King, but the biggest one of them is love. In the movie, love is shown through respect, and sacrifice. Mufasa teaches Simba to protect and respect the animals in the kingdom, and speaks of the Circle of Life, which represents the generational cycle of life and death and everyone’s duty to contribute to society. Mufasa explains that even though they are on top of the food chain, every animal must be respected for their own dignity and contribution. He said, “Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance, and respect all the creatures from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope.” This can interpreted as loving on others by respecting them, no matter their background or their position in society. We have to respect everyone’s role because we all contribute to the balance and the operation of society. Mufasa also shows love in the movie through an act of sacrifice. Scar makes an attempt to kill Simba by provoking a stampede. Simba was trapped but he is saved by Mufasa, who later gets betrayed and killed by Scar. This was an act of love and sacrifice because even though Mufasa knew it was very dangerous to get in the stampede, his love for Simba was bigger than anything else. Therefore, he goes in and saves his son. This teaches us that we will have to make sacrifices for the people we love. Great leaders have to be willing to sacrifice for others.
The negative message we can get from the Lion King is you have to do whatever it takes to get what you want or as some say, “the end justifies the means.” In the movie, Scar wanted to be the king of Pride Lands. Therefore, he set out a plan to kill Mufasa and Simba in order to be the only heir available. He managed to kill Mufasa and he persuaded Simba that the death of his father was his responsibility, which made him run away. This way, he became the only one available to be king. This is a negative message because it’s telling us that you can make someone else suffer in order to obtain what you desire. In the movie, Scar made a family suffer a death and Simba feel guilty of his father’s death in order to be king. It is good to strive for success and fight for what you want, but it’s not good to have a mindset of doing whatever it takes to make it if it involves doing something incorrect or immoral.
I believe that the strongest message in the movie is love. Mufasa being killed and Simba running away from Pride Lands because of Scar was really sad. However, the message of love shown through Mufasa’s teachings and sacrifice for Simba, is more powerful and impacting in the movie. This is supported with the fact that even though Scar got what he wanted, he was still defeated by Simba and his friends. This makes a bigger effect in the children and it conveys the message that if you get what you want by doing something wrong, it will have consequences, and that love and good will always win over evil.